We've gotten asked more than once about how we pick out our own family's photo backdrop locations, and quite honestly, we tend to always go bold, but simple. This usually means a fun colored wall, or a backdrop with awesome texture.
And even a few where the BEST photo has been the most unexpected one :)
So... since we HAVE had lots of questions on backdrops and locations, I thought it would be awesome for photographer, Kristen Duke to give us her best tips and tricks, when it comes to picking out a setting for family photos this year.
Take it away Kristen!
This has become the most popular spot for the modern family photos. If you pick the right time of day, a field with a cluster of tree's works wonders. This is the safe route, and quite frankly the easiest in my opinion as the photographer. I've got my spots that I know work well in certain times of the day. It seems most of my clients prefer this type of location because it's safe with fewer variables...and rightly so. Natures colors are a good neutral background, which helps emphasize the people, with fewer distractions. The Great Outdoors refers to any nature scene: from the beach to rivers to open fields with trees. This seems to be the easiest type of setting to bring in props and other elements, such as quilts or treats or bikes (more on that in making sessions enjoyable). Below is a sampling of the The Great Outdoors from past photo sessions.
I consider the Urban Adventure as any type of building, vehicle, or man made structure in the background of your family photos. Sometimes I'll bring a car or truck into an outdoor field and it blurs the lines between urban and outdoor, which also makes it fun! Urban is often colorful, and generally in the urban setting there are several different "looks" just around the corner from each other, such as in a downtown location. This is definitely the more modern route, and for families that want to step outside of the box a little with their family photos (and who likely have done The Great Outdoors recently). I love the variety an urban setting offers, and am always keeping my eyes open for back alleyways, or pockets of interest for new locations.
This is probably the most traditional way to go, but becoming less and less used for family portraits (although great for newborns and individuals). Back when I was a kid, Olan Mills saturated the market, and it seemed was the only option for family pictures! I personally don't photograph families in the studio setting because I feel more limited in the space. Though I love candid photography, I'm a sucker for a beautiful posed family photo that comes from studio photography. That being said, studio photos tend to be more formal, many people love that aspect of it. To make a studio setting unique is quite an investment in purchasing extras to make the scene unique, so it's a lot for a photographer to keep up with. I have seen it done well, and below are some examples from Peekaboo Photography, a photographer I admire. I love the variation in backdrops, and the couches/props used.
all taken by Peekaboo Photography
This has quickly become one of my most favorite places to photograph families, for two reasons: 1- It's a creative challenge for me 2- It's in a fun new spot each time. Families under estimate the value of having beautiful images taken in the place they gather the most. If you don't love your home decor, this might not be the best option. If your home doesn't have great lighting, then it would be tricky for a photographer to capture the natural light as well. So much can be done around the family bed, in the kitchen, or in the backyard. We had our photographer friend Heather Walker come to our home for our family photos last year, and the images bring me so much joy! I like to suggest families thinking of a fun activity that they like together, such as a board game, or baking something in the kitchen for fun activities to do together while being photographed. Below are a few examples of Family Pictures at Home.
Do you have Family Picture Sessions on the brain this fall? I'd love to help you out!
Join me today at these other sites on the web for more inspiration with Taking Family Pictures:
Infarrantly Creative--Decorate with Pictures
Capturing Joy--What to Wear for Family Portraits
The Idea Room--How to Enjoy and Not Just Endure Family Pictures
The House of Smiths--The Best Backdrops and Settings for Family Photos
Capturing Joy--How to Take your Own Family Pictures